8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 25, 2014 4:58 PM by rednarb

    Can NPM do Smokeping-like polling and graphing?


      Smokeping is an open source tool that pings (with traditional icmp or more advanced tools) an IP multiple times per polling interval and keeps track of the response time. Then when you bring up the web interface to see statistics it shows super useful information like average latency, jitter (difference between high and low latency), etc. and displays in a very neat looking graph showing average and "smoke" showing responses that fell outside the average.  Let's see if I can get an image to use as an example:




      In this example it's set to send 20 small pings every 300 seconds. The green dots are each interval where all 20 pings were successful. The colored dots and vertical lines indicate some portion of loss witnessed. The grey areas above and below the averages is the variation in round trip time between each of the 20 pings.


      I use a 10-ping-every-60-second method to get more detail but it's all configurable.


      Is there a way in NPM to get some results similar to this and if not, is there a way to at least get more aggressive pinging and reporting on latency fluctuations and jitter between Orion and any IP destination (not using IPSLA)?


      Thanks for reading.


        • Re: Can NPM do Smokeping-like polling and graphing?
          Leon Adato

          "Smokeping" is exactly the tool I use to describe what SolarWinds is NOT. You can ratchet ping down to 1 ping every 10 seconds (default is 120 seconds)or as slow as 32767 seconds (once every 9 hours).


          But aside from those parameters, it's not the right tool for the job you are describing.

          • Re: Can NPM do Smokeping-like polling and graphing?

            I see what you're saying.  Indeed there is a big gap between NPM's use of ping and the ideal.  Detecting jitter, accurately detecting % of packet loss, determining a node is experiencing severe packet loss instead of just being down, and so on are hard to do with NPM's ping monitoring.  But IPSLA does *fantastic* at those things and much more, and Solarwinds' VNQM embraces IPSLA as the testing protocol to provide that visibility.  What causes IPSLA to not be an option in this scenario?

            • Re: Can NPM do Smokeping-like polling and graphing?
              Leon Adato

              If you have the VNQM module and IPSLA-enabled routers and and you only want to test connectivity to a relatively small number of nodes (my current environment is 10,000 devices. Wouldn't want to do that to EVERYTHING, now would I?!?) then that's a fine option.


              But your question was about NPM specifically. That tool is NOT built to use IPSLA, nor is it designed as a heavy-duty ping test. One ping with 3 retries and a 300ms timeout every 2 minutes, with a heavy ping cycle (1 ping every 5 seconds until 10 pings are missed) if the node fails to respond.


              The use case is for a general monitoring tool you can apply to the whole environment. Smokeping or the SW Toolkit or using IPSLA are more for short- to medium-term forensics and diagnostics.



              - Leon